In what may prove to be a significant boon for industry, separating mixtures of liquids or gasses has just become considerably easier.
A composite image showing (left) an alumina-based honeycomb lattice with approximately one micron diameter cells, from which (right) an equivalent porous coordination polymer (PCP) architecture is derived using "reverse fossilization." Credit: Kyoto University iCeMS
Using a new process they describe as "reverse fossilization," scientists at Kyoto University's WPI Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) have succeeded in creating custom designed porous substances capable of low cost, high efficiency separation.
The process takes place in the mesoscopic realm, between the nano- and the macroscopic, beginning with the creation of a shaped mineral template, in this case using alumina, or aluminum oxide. This is then transformed into an equivalently shaped lattice consisting entirely of porous coordination polymer (PCP) crystals, which are themselves hybrid assemblies of organic and mineral elements.
"After creating the alumina lattice," explains team leader Assoc. Prof. Shuhei Furukawa, "we transformed it, molecule for molecule, from a metal structure into a largely non-metallic one. Hence the term 'reverse fossilization,' taking something inorganic and making it organic, all while preserving its shape and form."
After succeeding in creating both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional test architectures using this technique, the researchers proceeded to replicate an alumina aerogel with a highly open, sponge-like macro-structure, in order to test its utility in separating water and ethanol.
"Water/ethanol separation has not been commonly possible using existing porous materials," elaborates Dr. Julien Reboul. "The PCP-based structures we created, however, combine the intrinsic nano-level adsorptive properties of the PCPs themselves with the meso- and macroscopic properties of the template aerogels, greatly increasing separation efficiency and capacity."
Lab head and iCeMS Deputy Director Prof. Susumu Kitagawa sees the team's achievement as a significant advance. "To date, PCPs have been shown on their own to possess highly useful properties including storage, catalysis, and sensing, but the very utility of the size of their nanoscale pores has limited their applicability to high throughput industrial processes. Using reverse fossilization to create architectures including larger, mesoscale pores now allows us to begin considering the design of such applications."
The article, "Mesoscopic architectures of porous coordination polymers fabricated by pseudomorphic replication" by Julien Reboul, Shuhei Furukawa, Nao Horike, Manuel Tsotsalas, Kenji Hirai, Hiromitsu Uehara, Mio Kondo, Nicolas Louvain, Osami Sakata, and Susumu Kitagawa is to be published online in the June 24, 2012 issue of Nature Materials.About WPI-iCeMS
David Kornhauser | EurekAlert!
Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer
20.10.2017 | Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Metallic nanoparticles will help to determine the percentage of volatile compounds
20.10.2017 | Lomonosov Moscow State University
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research